There are few hobbies that can be shared by the whole family. The hobby of collecting rocks and minerals is one that can interest the entire family. Rocks and minerals are not only educational, but also entertaining and fascinating. One of these hobbyists said in an interview that when she found a new type of rock on her way to New Jersey, she was so overwhelmed with joy, she felt as if she had found Solomon’s gold mine.
Unlike other hobbies, the hobby of collecting rocks and minerals requires that hobbyist to have at least a basic working knowledge of rocks and minerals. Rocks are usually made up of one or more minerals. When different elements combine, the mineral is the result. Minerals are generally without any definite shape. But, when some of the mineral deposits mold into each other, it forms a layer with different irregular shapes and sizes. Some of the minerals also form crystals.
Rocks are easy to collect and classify. Many hobbyists store rocks and minerals in museum like setups. To know and classify a rock requires much geological knowledge and experiences. Many rock collectors often sell their rocks and mineral samples. There are many tools available to break rocks and store them. For sample collection, a hobbyist should have some formal or informal training in handling the different tools for rock sampling, so as not to damage the rock.
Many types of classification exist for grouping the different rocks and minerals. Some of the classifications are:
Classification by color: Store or group all of the same colored rocks and minerals together.
Classification by number of elements: Rocks and minerals that have a certain number of particular elements are stored or grouped together.
Classification by chemical analysis: This type of classification is done only by geologists; they group rocks and minerals according to their chemical composition.
Classification by crystalline shape: this type of classification is for experienced hobbyists, since knowledge of crystalline shape and cleavage pattern is very important.
It is possible to find rocks anywhere you go. If you want to get started with a rock collecting hobby, you can simply go out into your backyard and dig around a bit. Most rock collectors learn to keep their eyes peeled wherever they go, so that no matter what they are doing they will have the opportunity to find new and unique rocks that they wouldn’t have been able to find in their area. It is rare to meet a rock collector who will drive to great lengths to find a rock, but if you are on a family trip or a business trip, you might as well pick up a few local rocks.
The hobby of collecting rocks and minerals is never ending. It is a lifetime hobby that increases your knowledge with every new rock or mineral found. To get started, all you need is an identification book and a rock. You can find out all of the information you need, and officially begin your collection with that rock. As your collection grows, you will realize that the hobby only becomes more rewarding over time. So look at the library or the book store today, and find out about the different types of rocks, as well as the tools that can make your life easier.